A panel of commissioners with Missoula District Court have announced a final valuation for the Mountain Water Company at $88.6 million, nearly double the $46 million the City of Missoula had wanted to pay and a little more than half of the $146 million Carlyle Group had hoped for.

“This is a number that I am perfectly comfortable with taking to the City Council and the people of Missoula,” Mayor John Engen said. “My hope is that Carlyle will recognize that this is a fair number and come to the table and work with us to get this transaction done.”

City councilman Adam Hertz is still counting the costs of the water condemnation suit which he has long opposed. Hertz says the final cost to the city of Missoula will have to be a lot more than $88.6 million.

"The legal fees, the purchase price and the underwriting cost of the bond will need to be bundled together and will likely be in excess of $100 million" Hertz said. "I will be interested to see the projections, because my sense is that water rates will need to increase significantly because of the size of the bond. This is not the end of the road, Carlyle can appeal the valuation and is currently still appealing the original decision."

City council will have to approve the final bonding amount, whatever that may be. The topic will likely be brought up at next Monday's city council meeting.